In 1998, the general manager of the airport complained to the Federal Aviation Administration about pressure she thought she was getting from then-Mayor Bill Campbell related to a $100 million contract for 20 million cubic yards of rock and soil needed to build a new runway.
As the second-highest ranking law enforcement official in the U.S., she was at the front line on terror cases, corporate prosecutions, and oversight of the FBI.
She said the legality of the order was questionable.
Now that she’s gone from the Trump Department of Justice, the president and his emphatically confident advisers should find and listen to other voices that—like Yates—have proven over decades that they are truly above politics and committed to justice, unintimidated by bullies, and ready to let the chips fall wherever they may.
Blackmon is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, host of the weekly national public television program American Forum, and a senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.